piercedRating: 2.5 stars
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Length:  Novel

As a surgical resident, Shawn Lawson is stressed, exhausted, and overworked. He strives for perfection and to stay at the top of his game, but his job is wearing on him. With no real social life outside of the hospital, the only stress relief Shawn has to look forward to is the occasional no-strings threesome with his best friend, Brett, and whatever random guy Brett picks up to join them.

It would be easy for Shawn to fall for Chris, the new guy Brett brings home, but Chris was a one night stand, and Shawn didn’t get his phone number. When the new attending trauma physician turns out to be none other than Chris, after a mild panic attack because Chris is now Shawn’s supervisor, Shawn and Brett invite him to join their original no-strings arrangement as their permanent third.

But things begin to change when Shawn’s attraction to Chris changes from simple sexual attraction. And discovering that Chris feels the same way is all the better. The beginning of their relationship seems so perfect, but as spending time with Chris battles with his strenuous work and unbelievably long hours along with difficulty sleeping when he actually has time to do so, Chris turns to anything that will help him keep up with the chaos in his life even as it causes the world around him to slowly crumble. Can Shawn face his problems and ask for help? Or will he fail trying on his own?

So, where to start…The basis of this story is a decent, but the writing just didn’t gel well. The story itself wasn’t very cohesive or connected. As a reader, I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters and I also didn’t feel a connection between Shawn and Chris, not even when they had sex. And the way they started their relationship felt juvenile. It went something like this: “I like you.” “Oh, I like you, too.” “Okay, let’s be boyfriends.” It just didn’t feel real.

Pierced is a story of healing more than it is a romance. Don’t get me wrong, there is a romance, but it’s more of a secondary storyline. Honestly, what I liked most about the story was the drug addiction plot. The struggles Shawn faces, his stubbornness, his journey – it is all quite realistic and believable. The addiction storyline is difficult, yet full of hope. The romance plot was decent. After the juvenile beginning of their relationship, it was more believable. I’m also confused by Chris’ desire to continue having a threesome given the strange backstory that gave no reason as to why he would like them so much. But mostly the lack of emotional connection between the men just made it fall flat for me.

The characters in the story are simply okay. Shawn is flawed, confused, and stubborn. He’s his own worst enemy. But he’s stronger than he believes himself to be. Chris is a good character, too. He’s more understanding and patient than most people would be in his position, and he’s not perfect by any means, but he is supportive and patient. My favorite character in this story is Brett, the best friend, and he’s really a secondary character. For one, he’s got the most personality of the three. He’s hilarious and he goes with the flow. Most of all, he takes his friendship with Shawn seriously and regardless of what happens between them, there is always forgiveness, support, and love from Brett.

All in all, this story just didn’t work for me. The writing was poor and the story fell flat. The individual characters were decent, but the connection between characters and the reader-character just isn’t there. There are more cons than pros, and all around I was not impressed with this story.

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